EMPOWERED WITH UBER

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Uber has been doing an amazing job recently of focusing conversation and awareness on women's empowerment. They have asked me to share what it means to be an empowered woman. I couldn't be more excited about a campaign goal and message.

When I thought about what makes me feel empowered I had to think back to moments when I have felt powerless and why I felt that way. Times I felt powerless have been when I didn't feel heard, understood or felt ignorant.

And I think the origin of that powerlessness is in my childhood. I was told a lot that I was stupid and was ignored a lot. The way I would react to those things would be through yelling, talking back, or be over-dramatizing and exaggerating things to get my parents to listen. I think many times adults can do the same thing, but as I grew and realized that behavior wasn't effective at all, and, rather, backfired, I started channeling my frustration into music and writing. Ultimately, it was a focus on communication in college and in my career that has made me feel more empowered than ever.

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For me, what makes me feel empowered is having a voice in people’s lives as an influencer and giving other people voices to tell their stories as a content creator and account manager at an influencer agency. Communicating messages that are important to me and important to others breathes life into me. It’s like my Wheaties for this super power I have developed through hours of practice and years of learning. It has been what has spurred me on to become a leader in the influencer space, Pinterest marketing, social media strategy and content production. By day I’m an agency badass and by night I’m a storyteller of my life through imagery and writing on social media. It has been that way for over ten years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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This past week, I flew to San Francisco, Fresno and San Diego for work. I spent my days in SF at Pinterest headquarters where I was a speaker for their first creator’s conference, In the Making. It was an amazing time helping people learn how to effectively partner with the brands they love to fuel their businesses. I also got to spend time with my peers and fellow creatives and learn from them.

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I then flew to Fresno and San Diego to produce a short video all about the farmers that devote their lives to organic farming of peaches and supplying the world with the tasty fruit for Ralphs. I produced the team, ran the art direction and messaging and styled some of the content. It was an epic week of empowerment and empowering others.

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I’d love to hear what makes you feel empowered most. Did you find you also devoted your line of work to your source of power?

Creative Live | Pinterest for Business

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Please forgive the long silence. I took the month of March off to prepare for Creative Live where I will be sharing every ounce of Pinterest information I have in their studios on Friday, March 30th at 9am PST. I'll be speaking about using Pinterest for your business, as well as has to run paid on Pinterest. I can't wait! This is really a dream opportunity. I have never worked this hard on a presentation in my LIFE!

Creative Live will be recording the classes as well, so if you miss them you can always purchase them later.

If you are interested in watching them LIVE, please click here to register. If you are interested in purchasing, please click here.

 

2017 PINTEREST TIPS

As I'm gearing up to teach a Pinterest class at Haven Conference this week, I thought I would share some relevant Pinterest info that you may not have heard people talk about before. 

1. Have you "Tried It" - Within the past year Pinterest has replaced the "like button" with the "tried it" button. I love this new feature because it further cements that Pinterest wants users to take action with the content they find on Pinterest and lessen the amount of Pinterest fails. I try recipes all of the time from Pinterest, and I often go back and rate the recipe and share my experience with the "tried it" feature.

So, what does that mean for you as the content creator? Well, because it's a new feature you can definitely count that the algorithm cares about whether or not a lot of people have tried the pin and found success. When I search for recipes I often see that the top surfacing pins not only have a high repin count, but they also have reviews using the "tried it" feature. So, encourage your followers to try and review when you can. It will give your content a better chance of being recommended by Pinterest. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the algorithm keeps track of how much you try pins on Pinterest. I would assume the more active you are at trying things on Pinterest the more likely your profile is to be recommended, but that's completely my own inference without any proven data. 



2. Consistent activity on Pinterest is important to growth - As I have been managing other Pinterest accounts over the past year, I have noticed that no matter what size their following is regularly logging in and pinning is key to growth. Scheduling with a third party app and never logging in did show smaller growth rates, which leads me to believe Pinterest cares about their time on site and how much you contribute to the community.

Also, the amount of sharing (repinning) from the community is important. I used to repin 10 pins a day to maintain activity on multiple accounts, but I noticed when I bumped the activity up to about 20 repins a day I saw more growth.

3. Tailwind Tribes are very helpful - Tailwind is a third party approved Pinterest application that gives deeper insight into your Pinterest analytics, and offers some helpful tools such as scheduling. Tribes are a great way to get your content shared by other pinners. Simply add pins from your website to your Tailwind Tribe, and the other members of the tribe will most likely repin them. Of course, they are not obligated to share because that would be spammy behavior, but this is a great way to avoid missing out on your friends' pins due to the engagement based algorithm. I have found my content has gotten so much more traction using their tribes feature.

4. Group boards are a bit scary - Any group boards that don't show a vast variety of domains on them, and instead shows the same websites over and over again is easily flagged by the algorithm as spammy activity, especially when the board strangely has a high and consistent repin rate. Be cautious of this behavior and rethink being a member of these boards. The board could be taken down by Pinterest and your likelihood of being a suggested account to follow will possibly decrease. I know this through the experiences of other group board members and clients. I should say I have not personally experienced this, but I also have never participated in group boards. 

Be sure to check out my online Pinterest classes for more insight into the platform. If you're attending Haven Conference, please come and say hi. 

Photos by Lauren J. Photography

TARGET MOTHERBOARD

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Setting up your dorm room for college is a fun and exciting experience for the student and an emotional roller-coaster for parents as they send their babies off to adulthood. It's not only the child's first time living away from home for kids, but it's, potentially, the first time they have had to prepare healthy meals for themselves, get along with a roommate, do laundry by themselves and other firsts. Though I haven't had to cross that road as a mother, I can only image how mothers want to make sure their kids are set up for success starting with making sure their living spaces are in tip-top shape. I had the opportunity to create some pin-worthy solutions with Target to put moms at ease for this big transition.  You can find them all on their Pinterest board named the "Motherboard." (Get it? Haha!)

 Creating the DIY "dormmat"

Creating the DIY "dormmat"

 Shot list for the collaboration

Shot list for the collaboration

It was positively the best experience to work for a brand that I'm such a big patron of. They truly are geniuses over there, and being on set was unreal. They had huge room sets that looked you were walking into dreamy homes from a catalog. It was like getting to see behind the curtain of the Wizard of Oz. I felt totally in my element, like I was born ready for this opportunity. So, this what I came up with:

DIY HEADBOARD - When I saw my dorm for the first time it looked like a prison. It was a tiny rectangle of cinderblock. I wanted to cover it up right away, but it's hard to do when you can't nail anything to a wall. They didn't have command strips back then (man, I sound old), but now they do. So, I came up with a DIY headboard using shower rings, command strips and shower rod and a tapestry. 

DIY DORM-MAT -Making a good first impression is important. I never had the thought of decorating my dorm room door, but I should have. I thought this DIY "dorm mat" was a nifty idea because it's inviting and fun. We made ours to say "dorm sweet dorm," but you could say, "bring pizza," or "hi, my name is Matt." I crack myself up. You can use all sorts of tools to achieve the DIY, but paint worked best for us and then we cut out the hearts to make it really standout. 

POST-IT NOTE PINATA - Care packages are probably the favorite thing to receive as a student, and they are something all moms should send to their kids. But instead of filling an typical card board box with stuff, why not fill paper bags that work like pinatas. You can even cover it in love notes with post-its to go the extra mile. And instead of filling the pinata with candy, you can fill it with gift cards, makeup, snacks and money.

OVERNIGHT OATS - Healthy eating was a challenge for me in college. I definitely gained the freshman 15. I wish I knew what overnight oats were back then because you can prepare a bunch of breakfasts in advance and stash them in a mini fridge. It's also a recipe that doesn't require a microwave or a ton of ingredients. 

HOW TO BE AUTHENTIC IN ONE STEP

Why is authenticity hard for people? Why has it become a buzz word and the new marketing avenue? And why when people try to be authentic you can still spot the disingenuousness like it's a knock off designer bag. Why are the legit ones hard to spot?  These are questions that I have been mulling over lately. And what I have discovered is that the reason why it's hard for some and not for others comes down to  one thing. FEAR - being fearful of losing something or being rejected. For me, I would rather lose popularity, clicks, money, etc. than lose myself but this hasn't always been the case.

For most of my life I lived on the side of the coin as a person that was just there - unnoticed, flying under the radar, not bad, not good, not smart, not dumb, not drop-dead gorgeous, not ugly, not super talented, not popular, not a loner - just there. And then the coin flipped over night. I became popular, I became seen, I became prettier (got rid of acne, lost weight, did my hair and learned how to do makeup), I found my talents and I finally had things I never had before - I finally had things to lose that I didn't want to lose. And I felt that fear of rejection and loss start to direct my choices, my business, my relationships and I hated it like it was a plague taking over my body. And I dropped it like a bad habit because I felt so uncomfortable. And that's why I have positioned my blog to an authentic story-telling place about style, home and motherhood. And so the answer to why being authentic is hard and why people want it badly is clear...When the fear of losing acceptance, approval, relationships and money becomes greater than the fear of losing yourself you will find your actions, business and relationships disingenuous. And when you find someone that is ready to lose it all at any moment for the sake of being true to themselves you find authenticity.

It's rare to find online because there is an immediate reaction to every picture and word (like or dislike; follow or unfollow). We experience loss immediately and it's scary is f*** because that equates, for some, to mortgages and food for their family.

And I don't say I'm good now at being authentic to toot my own horn, but it was the craving for the freedom to be authentic online that became so strong over the past year that I was ready to lose it all. So I started doing it more, and thanks to YOU I have been able to be transparent, be accepted and maintain a voice. You have shown me that people will still show up and listen even if they disagree, are tired of hearing your kid is sick, and you don't have cool hair braid tutorials. Thank you!

Photos by Rennai Hoefer